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Jun 2, 2011 09:01 AM

Ethnic Food Markets London

Can anyone tell me where any ethnic food markets are in London?


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  1. It really depends on what you're looking for - specific items/ethnic specialties, or random treats? Brixton market has many a fan on this site and can give you a better run-down than me on the variety on offer. I can recommend Alexandra Palace Farmers Market on Sundays for a variety of both ethnic delights and very good quality, locally grown and produced farm products.

    For everyday: Asian specialties I head to Chinatown, Turkish/Middle-Eastern to Green Lanes in Haringey and for West-Indian/Caribean I go to Crouch End and Finsbury Park.

    1. I'd second Brixton Market for having the feel and appearance you might be after (it's also super central) though the market has admittedly lost some of its "ethnic" character in recent years. My former butcher is an organic restaurant now. Still, though, the West Indian presence is massive and there are plenty of Africans, Pakistanis, etc about too. Good Portuguese stores as well.

      If you're after a more Eastern idea of ethnic than I'd recommend Queens Market on Green St or East Ham Market. While Queens Market is the better market for selection and snacking, East Ham Market has much better food nearby. High Street North is a mecca of South Asian food in East London. Green St is also good, but it's pretty much just an excellent Kebabish and some decent restaurants while High Street North has a list of amazing places to eat.

      Not technically a market, but Green Lanes in North London might as well be part of Fatih in Istanbul. Huge Kurdish population, plenty of Turks as well, a spattering of Iranians, left over Cypriots and a variety of other groups. The stores are largely Turkish and Kurdish (as is a multitude of excellent restaurants nearby) but the overall feel is not 100% Turkish. If you walk up or down Green Lanes past the extremely Turkish stretch you'll find Eritrean businesses, Italian businesses, restaurants representing a number of Balkan countries, etc.

      Dalston Market is also excellent for the feel of the area. In that case it mixes up strong Caribbean vibes with the Green Lanes style Turkish atmosphere. There's an Alevi center, the presence of Turkish organized crime is noticeable around most local football clubs and as an area it has that "feel", but it has become very hipster/yuppified in recent years. Nonetheless the newcomers don't seem to venture into the market much which has a decent Pakistani stall, good groceries and one of London's best TFCs. The surrounding area also has a bunch of very good Turkish restaurants.

      What are you actually after?

      8 Replies
      1. re: JFores

        You can't get more 'ethnic' than Peckham Market - which in my opinion offers the best value/range of fish and seafood I've come across in London; huge variety at great prices. The area is African dense - with shops, markets and restaurants catering to the community. There's also a smattering of Middle Eastern places in the wider area, with the excellent Middle Eastern grocery shop, Persepolis springing to mind. Peckham is quite central and a bus from Waterloo will take you there directly.

        1. re: Nii

          I totally forgot about Peckham Market!

          1. re: JFores

            I'd favour Brixton over Peckham, partly because there are better options for lunch in Brixton Village/Market Row! And the Portuguese stores are great. Persepolis is definitely a gem though.

            1. re: greedygirl

              I have never tried any Portuguese foods before what style of food is it?

              1. re: dryrain

                It depends on the region, but in a generalized "this is Portuguese food" sort of way it's similar to Spanish cuisine, but obviously quite different. Lots of seafood, kale, potatoes, sausage, etc. I can't really explain it in a couple of sentences.

                If you want exceptional Portuguese food (better than a lot of what I had in Lisbon) go to Sintra in Stockwell. It's actually walking distance from Brixton. Roughly across the road from O Cantinho do Portugal.

              2. re: greedygirl

                True, Peckham is completey raw and has so far evaded the rampant gentrification that continues to sweep over London (excluding Bellenden road). To the OP: you may find it somewhat scary if you decide to venture down there and it doesn't offer the sheer variety of places to eat and shop that Brixton does - but then Peckham and Brixton are quite different places. Still, I do a large portion of my shopping there and I've found things like herbs and spices like parsley and mint at a fraction of the cost then I find in Brixton.

              1. re: dryrain

                Daily, I think (except Sunday), as is Brixton.

          2. It would be good if you specified exactly which ethnicity you are interested in.
            For Bangladeshi stuff, I don't know if there is market per se (JFores can advise you properly in this regard) but there are numerous shops around Whitechapel esp Brick Lane (not the crappy 'Indian restaurants') which stock Indian and Bangladeshi ingredients, frozen fish imported from Bangladesh and fresh sweets/samosas. There is also a market in Brick Lane (Sunday I think) which has food stalls (prepared food) from various countries. Limster has posted extensively on this market but I can't seem to locate his thread.

            1 Reply
            1. re: medgirl

              Whitechapel Market would be the technical Bangladeshi hub, but it's more of a large collection of street stalls than a market along the lines of Green St or East Ham.

            2. Sorry should have specified ethnic more I was thinking Middle eastern and African. Thanks for every ones suggestions so far.

              1. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Shepherd's Bush Market. It's my favorite market in London for exotic items such as green bananas (not plantains) - much better than in Brixton, goat meat (multiple butchers that carry whole legs that they will cut up for you), and small ripe bananas. I also buy breadfruit, chillies and herbs there (on par with Brixton). You can also find green mangoes in season, though they're better in Brick Lane or Whitechapel.